Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rose Hill Antiques

The best part about antiquing is finding that rare something that's got a great back story and gets everyone in the room talking. These are real glass eyes people used to pop into empty sockets.

John McMahon, owner of Rose Hill Antiques prides himself on carrying the espected and totaly unexpected in his store.
If you’re in the market for a second hand vintage item, coated in a thin protective layer of dust, then this is your spot. Just take an allergy pill before you walk in.
Walking into Rose Hill Antiques, you should be ready to step over, around and in between if you want to get a good look at anything. John’s a dealer, not a decorator.
He says Rose Hill is a popular stop for set designers in the area. Items from his store have ended up in films like Shutter Island and Peace, Love and Misunderstanding. If you can’t find what you’re looking for at the store, John says he also has a warehouse full of stuff nearby.
Over the years, John has amassed a large and eclectic collection. He buys pieces for personal or investment interest but says he’s really drawn to something unique with an interesting back-story (it makes for a good selling point with customers).
The coffee table was originally part of a set of 100. They were made for a café in New York (that no longer exists) by a former set designer for Sesame Street. He bought them all a few years back and says at $150 each they moved really quickly. This is one of the last few he has left.
John says a lot of his collection is from estates. People will call the store about a death and tell John, ‘clean me out.’

These family photos belong to someone. John says he got them form a garbage collector who came across the pictures on his route. They’re nice representations of retro-Americana until you remember they’re discarded images of someone’s family.

Estate sales also turned up a restored painting by Keith Gunderson of the Hudson Valley School of Art.
And an original drawing by Remmington Kellogg, Yup that’s Kellogg as in the breakfast cereal empire, it’s Grrrrrrate!
The bracelet is from 1926.
The Victorian cameo is made from a seashell in the 1880’s.
The dressers back to the early 19th century.
The Murano lamp is for anyone who loves 60's swank.
Straight outta Indiana, a Hoosier style cabinet from the 1930’s.
Magic lantern slide projector. I had no idea what that was until John explained it’s an early form of the camera.
Skookum doll – the eyes are looking the wrong way and were made by white women in the US not American Indians.
On the surface these paintings may seem juvenile and simple until you find out they’re from Rikers Island cellblock 95 and an inmate by the name of Fabio Garcia. He had a brief stay on the island from 1980 to 1985 and when he got transferred to a federal penitentiary, his family didn’t want the paintings. They were beautiful before, but waaaay more interesting now.

You don’t have to be a pauper to appreciate a good bargain John’s had his fair share of celebs come through the store. I won’t name drop, but the Hudson Valley has about as many celebs and Manhattan’s Village. As cheap as John’s prices are, don’t feel like they’re etched in stone. He’s willing to negotiate, within reason.


  1. That Kellogg drawing is great. What a cool place!

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  3. amazing things! might have to make a road trip to get those eyes! they look like they have a place in one of my apothecary jars. ~trudy


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